April 18, 2014
Set 1 is *extremely* professional - they get dialed in right from the beginning - check how tight Jerry's tunes are in particular - Althea, et al.
Set 2 doesn't really ever get totally off the ground - a nice, jazzy swing to Playin' and Eyes, and, of course, Phil's earthquake madness is why most people are curious about this show in the first place. Aside from that, yeah, the set's well done, but not particularly memorable. The earthquake stuff should be heard, however, for the novelty as well as the "piece" in itself. It makes me wonder why they didn't try to break the 4th wall on "themes" with Space more than they did - this night and the next @ Baltimore are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head.
December 2, 2010
And there will be earthquakes...Matthew 24:7
After years of silence and crowds screaminig 'Let Phil Sing!', Phil Lesh re-introduced himself to the microphone with one of the weirdest raps/recitals I've ever heard. Glad I was there. (I think it was the next year that I handed my tix over to a friend for the 2nd night in Hartford, only learn that they played St. Stephen - oh well.) This show was a lot of fun. This is the first time I've listened to this in 25 years, and the quality really impresses me. The first set was fun, this being the second of 2 nights in Hartford. The band and Garcia were in their best years in my opinion. Jerry's voice sounded strong, mellowed only by the many verses he'd sung through the years. Brent Mydland revived this band and enabled them to find direction in the 'what happened to hippies?' era of the early 80's. The answer: the rockers that had survived were finally starting to get financially set. The fruits of South America were flowing smoothly into the US. A new space had developed yet again. The band is really tight here, and had been for a solid year, reviving older songs, introducing some new, but doing more expanding than anything else. Smiles all around. This first set was strong, with a nice Let it Grow to close it out with class. Cold Rain & Snow was back, Playing in the Band, always sweet, nicely transitioned into Eyes. (Terrapins were becoming a rarer treat. The sound of the band on this soundboard mix really bears out how the Dead were forging new grounds, taking the best of new technology without abandoning the past. Their music was like none other and they looked like they had fun with it all, night after night. Phil's 'barbary coast' rant was epic. I remember being behind the stage, a different perspective since I had grown to enjoy listening to the music and observing the musicians, observing the scene rather than jumping in. When I had begun to follow shows in '79, everything was absolutely surreal and I wanted to sense what was truly untouchable. Now I was learning that the reality the band had created was what was really surreal. I'm glad they started doing so well. It seemed like the mundane things such as selling tix in advance, setting up a recording section took away needless hassles that allowed us to just go to the show and have a good time. I like the way the band mixed up the songs at the end of the show. It seemed like they would do that from time to time in this era if they were having a particularly good time, not just to play on our heads. It was really smooth. Loved this show. Loved the 'whale and dolphin' sounds produced during the space. Good environmental conciousness for a time that seemed like the smell and lure of money would lead industry to bring all nature to its knees. Loved the musky smell of pacculi of the womens who danced and twirled about in the looseness of the scene. And it was great to see the band have so much fun doing what we loved to see them do. Never had such a good time in my life before.